I’m writing about the Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, because I believe that libraries and the services they offer are, instead of diminishing in importance, actually increasing in importance as a resource for people who need them for the host of resources typically offered at libraries.

This post refers to an article written by Judy Kroeger in the Triblive News, which informs the reader that the library that has served the area since 1903 has an estimated deficit of $70,000 for this year. It’s quite evident that plans are in the works to offer increased resources to the community.

Back in the early 1900s the community leaders decided at the neighborhood expanded and to provide educational resources to the growth of the community a library was needed. They needed a benefactor and Andrew Carnegie Scottish immigrant industrialist filled that need.

The name Andrew Carnegie is synonymous to philanthropy and giving back to the community and apparently without injecting a sense of entitlement. And yes! I’m aware that he was also labeled one of the “robber barons” in the world of industry.

After reading several biographies about Mr. Carnegie, I found it interesting to note that, although he donated $50,000 (a lot of money in the early 1900s) to build the library he also added a requirement that Connellsville and the school district pay all maintenance and acquisition expenses. This requirement does validate the common thread among the various writers of the biographies of the mindset of the man and his personal view of the human condition.

The library problems represent what is happening across the country and instead of re-hashing the article here’s the link to Triblive News to read details about the funding issues, capital needs, and plans to make things work.

 “The library has some unique items to sell to help with expenses. Two antique upright pianos and thousands of vinyl records are available. Call Sirochman at 724-628-1380 for information.” 

Here too is a link to the Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville.

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